Verb production tasks in the measurement of communicative abilities in aphasia

Adrià Rofes, Rita Capasso, Gabriele Miceli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The neurofunctional correlates of verbs and nouns have been the focus of many theoretically oriented studies. In clinical practice, however, more attention is typically paid to nouns, and the relative usefulness of tasks probing nouns and verbs is unclear. The routine administration of tasks that use verbs could be a relevant addition to current batteries. Evaluating performance on both noun and verb tasks may provide a more reliable account of everyday language abilities than an evaluation restricted to nouns. Aims: To assess the benefits of administering verb tasks in addition to noun tasks, and their relation to three functional measures of language. Method and procedure: Twenty-one subjects with poststroke language disorders completed four picture-naming tasks and a role-playing test (Communicative Abilities in Daily Living, Second Edition, CADL-2), commonly used as measure of everyday language abilities. Two questionnaires (Communicative Effectiveness Index, CETI, and Communicative Activity Log, CAL) were completed by caregivers. Picture-naming tasks were matched for psycholinguistic variables to avoid lexicosemantic and morphosyntactic confounds. Results: No significant differences emerged across picture-naming tasks. Scores on the role-playing test and the two questionnaires differed; scores between the two questionnaires did not. The four naming tasks correlated significantly with CADL-2, CETI, and CAL. The strength of the correlation with CADL-2 was significantly greater for Naming Finite Verbs than for Object Naming. Thirteen participants showed no differences in performance between tasks, 6 fared significantly worse on verb tasks than on Object Naming, 1 fared better at Naming Finite Verbs though his performance was poor overall, and 1 was significantly more impaired on verbs. Conclusions: Performance on tasks that use verbs, and especially Naming Finite Verbs, may provide a more accurate estimate of language abilities in daily living than Object Naming alone. Administering both verb and noun tasks may be recommended in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-502
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aphasia
  • Finite
  • Naming
  • Noun
  • Verb


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